From Eric Silber, Threefold Educational Foundation Executive Director

We are facing unprecedented events and times of uncertainty. Yet as the organs in our bodies work together with a wisdom that does not lie in the physical world, the organizations within the body of our community can call upon that same wisdom to face “with absolute equanimity everything that may come” if our “courage is not to fail us.” Today is the first day of spring. If we look outdoors, we can see nature coming to life all around us. I am confident that we have the forces to work together, collaborate and come through this pandemic stronger than before.

As cases continue to rise in the United States and in New York, governmental bodies are working to implement measures to slow the spread of the virus and keep our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. Each individual has a crucial role to play in this effort. Thank you for observing the widely published guidelines for social distancing and handwashing. If you have any flu-like symptoms or any known exposure to a COVID-19 carrier, please stay in your home. As you take care of yourself, look for opportunities to help other, more vulnerable members of our community.

The State of Emergency order in effect in Rockland County requires all schools to remain closed until April 15. While we hope that our schools will be able to reopen in mid-April or soon after, we are making plans for every contingency.

The following is an update of what is happening around the community:

The Threefold maintenance department continues to follow the cleaning and disinfecting protocols outlined in my last letter. Even though classes are suspended, all offices remain accessible to staff and faculty as needed.

Holder House is not accepting reservations for any stays before April 18. This may change as the situation develops. Guests can make reservations for summer courses. We currently have five residents in Holder House.

Threefold Café is offering takeout lunch and dinner every weekday. Please visit this page, email cafe@threefold.org, or call 845-352-3130 for information or to place an order. Under the State of Emergency order, the Café is closed to dine-in business.

The Pfeiffer Center / Fellowship farm project is moving forward. The greenhouses are full of new plants and the fields are being prepared to raise vegetables for Hilltop House, the CSA, and the Farm Stand. Workshops and other public programs have been suspended through April, but the Plant Sale is still on for May 15, 16, and 17. There is abundant raw milk available at the Duryea Farm dairy ($5/half gallon); the cows and the bees are healthy.

On Thursday, Green Meadow began delivering online learning to grades 5 through 12. Grades 1 through 4 will have varied modalities for the delivery of lessons from their class teachers and subject teachers. Early Childhood parents will receive daily communication from their children’s teachers regarding the rhythm of the day and supporting healthy daily rhythms. All extracurricular activities, events, and outside rentals have been cancelled.

The Otto Specht School is offering online video classes that include main lessons, art, music, and speech. Individualized packets of academic and artistic work and practical arts projects have been sent home. Students are also creating in-home gardens that include materials and seeds for students to plant and tend to until they can return to school.

Endeavor21 has suspended programming for day students but will continue modified in-home and outdoor programming for resident adult students.

The Fiber Craft Studio is providing online content for its two year-long programs, Sheep to Shawl and the Art of Clothing. A decision will be made soon regarding the Sheep and Wool Festival that was scheduled for May 17. Monthly Open Studio and Plant Dye Café will be canceled until May. Handwork teachers are invited to join our Facebook group, Fiber Craft Studio Applied Arts Group, to share online handwork ideas. They are taking email orders for any handwork materials at information@fibercraftstudio.org.

Sunbridge Institute’s virtual course for 21 students in the Early Child Program is going very well. When the course ends on Friday, staff will be staggering times in the office and focusing on summer programs.

All Threefold Branch activities have been suspended for the time being. Gino Ver Eecke will notify all Branch members when meetings will resume.

The Christian Community is looking at providing additional services during the week allowing smaller groups to be able to attend. As of this time, Sunday services are being offered as usual.

The Fellowship Community continues to restrict access to Hilltop House to only essential staff and to enforce strict measures to protect the members. The Fellowship is seeking volunteers to do shopping and run errands for members who reside outside of Hilltop House and are hesitant to leave the community. Anyone who would like to adopt-a-member should contact Carol Avery at the Foundation Office: 845-356-8494.

Eurythmy Spring Valley and the Steiner School of Speech Arts have closed for all training activities through April 19. All public events and performances between now and April 19 have been cancelled. Both ESV and the Speech School plan to resume normal activities as soon as they are able.

The Hungry Hollow Co-op staff have been busy receiving deliveries and stocking shelves to meet the needs of their customers. They are in the process of creating grocery pick-up days for those who prefer not to shop in the store.

The Threefold office in the Auditorium is open but staff are observing staggered schedules to minimize interpersonal contact. All Threefold staff are reachable by email. Checks, vouchers, and other correspondence can be left in the box outside the office door.

As you can see, in a time where social distancing is a public health necessity, there are many ways for us to maintain the connections that give our lives meaning. Circumstances are changing daily, and we are called upon to adapt and respond while holding the health of our community at our center. I am in awe of all the efforts so many are making to keep our programs alive and to stay connected to our students, parents, customers and others drawn to our community. We have so much to be grateful for. I encourage everyone to stay connected and look out for each other.

March 19, 2020

From Eurythmy Spring Valley

On Monday, March 16, Eurythmy Spring Valley closed its doors to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our school, community, and region. Our campus will remain closed to all training activities and events through Sunday, April 19, 2020. As with many schools, we will reopen our activities as soon as we are authorized by health officials in our area. We are deeply appreciative of the collaborative work happening in our community to meet the effects of this virus and to support of each other in the process. Given that we are all now engaged in this unprecedented event impacting people worldwide, we will be monitoring the conditions, and providing updates on how we are navigating this challenge in our Eurythmy Spring Valley school community.

March 17, 2020

From Green Meadow Waldorf School

Today, NYC public schools announced closure for the next three weeks, and the Rockland County Executive has declared a state of emergency. We have witnessed the devastating effects of this quickly spreading virus, and we must play our role in mitigating its effects. With this sobering recent news, and in consultation with Green Meadow’s Advisory Board, we have made the decision to shift to a distance learning mode in recognition of the abundance of caution needed at this time.

As such, our campus will be closed for all activities through the end of Spring Break, on Sunday, April 19. All school activities, including field trips, concerts, the Third Grade Farm Trip, athletics, and After-School Classes, etc. are cancelled and will be rescheduled if possible. We have made this difficult decision not only for the health and well-being of our students and their families, but for society as a whole. Please note that at this time there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the GMWS or Threefold communities.

As we develop new ways of working together and staying connected, we will rely increasingly on one another. Through these challenging times we will get to know one another in new ways and we will develop resilience together, to make distance learning a rich and positive experience for our students. We will be reunited on our beautiful campus at some point, and the plays, trips, and events that we are now missing will go forward at a later date.

Our decision to stay home, however uncomfortable, can be an opportunity to connect more deeply with family and is a luxury that not all have; let’s find ways to use that privilege in the coming weeks for the good of those who are more vulnerable: hourly workers, the elderly, those who are homeless or jobless, healthcare practitioners, and others. Let’s find ways to support local businesses and our neighbors.

Please continue to communicate actively with us about the health of your family. We will stay in frequent communication with you as plans develop and continue to update this webpage. We recognize that the shift to distance learning will require a lot from you as parents, to establish the home side of this program. Thank you for your support in making this work.

March 16, 2020

From Eric Silber, Threefold Educational Foundation Executive Director

We are now in the midst of a global public health emergency. If the experiences of China, South Korea, Italy, and Washington state are any guide, we can foresee a difficult and challenging time ahead.

I am writing to fill you in on measures that are being taken in our community, and to remind you of the measures that you can take to reduce the risks to yourself, your household, and your neighbors. All of us – individuals and institutions – share a responsibility to hold the wellbeing of our most vulnerable neighbors as our priority.

Effective today, the Fellowship Community has put in place policies to protect the residents of Hilltop House. Until at least March 28, only essential persons may enter Hilltop House: caregivers, therapists, doctors, and specially cleared visitors. Not permitted in Hilltop House: Anyone who has traveled by air (or been exposed to someone who has traveled by air) in the past 14 days; anyone who has been exposed to a person with the COVID-19 virus; anyone who has respiratory or flu-like symptoms. Events, gatherings, and off-campus trips must be pre-approved, and caregivers and staff have been given guidelines for hygiene and protective wear.

Elsewhere in our community:

To help safeguard our long-term residents, Holder House will be closed to short-term guests from March 21 until April 18. For now, Holder House is still taking summer room reservations.

Sunbridge Institute is now offering a distance-learning option to students who prefer not to travel here for their teacher training.

Green Meadow has developed a detailed response plan that includes providing distance learning for grades 7-12 in the event that the school must close or individual children must be quarantined.

Threefold Educational Foundation has instituted new cleaning protocols in our public spaces – Main House, Threefold Café, Threefold Auditorium, Holder House, Orchard House, and the Red Barn painting studio.

The experience in other parts of the world shows that every individual can help lessen the impact of COVID-19.

  • If you are ill, especially if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, stay at home! Even if you feel well, do not come to work, school, or events if any member of your household is experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • Practice good hygiene, particularly routine handwashing and regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces in your home and workplace.
  • If you are ill and feel that you need medical attention, call your physician’s office.
  • Plan ahead for the possibility of a lengthy confinement. While you do that, consider your neighbors who may be less capable of caring for themselves in a period of confinement: offer to help with shopping, pet care, and the like.

COVID-19 is an extremely serious disease, and must be taken seriously. Fortunately, the experience of others shows that the impact of COVID-19 can be mitigated by good public health practices. All of the Threefold community’s institutions are committed to observing these practices. Thank you in advance for doing your part.

March 13, 2020
This page will be updated as needed.

For Our Residents and Visitors

We are continually monitoring updates on COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus. Threefold staff is diligently working to take appropriate measures to help ensure the health and safety of our residents and visitors based on the best information available.

Our cleaning staff has implemented the following practices:

  • High-contact surfaces, including doorknobs, handrails,  and light switches in Main House, Threefold Auditorium, and the Red Barn are routinely disinfected.
  • In Holder House, bathrooms, kitchens, and high-contact surfaces are being disinfected daily. Each guest room is disinfected when guests check out.
  • Threefold Café is diligently cleaning and disinfecting dining areas and rest rooms on a daily basis.

If you have any questions or concerns in this area, please reach out to Christa Lynch at 845-352-5020 x122.

We ask our residents and visitors to apply these good hygiene practices, which are known to mitigate the spread of illness:

  • Routine handwashing (soap and lather for at least 20 seconds).
  • Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, not into your hands.
  • Do not come to work, school, or events if you or members of your household are sick or have flu-like symptoms.
  • Consider postponing air travel.
  • Consider what precautions are necessary when having international visitors, especially from countries with high incidence of the coronavirus (i.e. voluntary isolation for 14 days).
  • If returning from a country or state with a high incidence of the coronavirus, consider voluntary isolation for yourself and members of your household for 14 days.

We ask all our residents and visitors to consider the well-being of the community as a priority. If you are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms — such as fever, coughing, shortness of breath — stay home and contact your physician.

Communication and Contingency Planning

A community task force with representatives from every organization in the Threefold and Fellowship communities is meeting by phone on a daily basis to ensure open communication flow, address concerns, access new and developing information, and recommend appropriate actions.

We do not know to what extent the virus will spread or what measures federal, state, or local government agencies might employ to contain it. The institutions in the Threefold community are committed to complying with all public health directives and taking all appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In our community setting, open communication is essential at all times, especially in times of stress and uncertainty. Visitors and residents are encouraged to reach out to institutional leadership with any questions or concerns, including:

  • Concerns that are brought to you from your constituents.
  • Concerns that anyone in your organization may have been exposed to coronavirus, or is showing flu-like symptoms.
  • Concerns about anyone planning on traveling to or from areas where there have been instances of coronavirus.
  • Any communications from or actions requested by any government agencies.

March 9, 2020
This page will be updated as needed.